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Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison’s coffers got a boost Monday when a federal judge ruled the firm was due $2.7 million in attorneys fees for successfully representing sports agent Leigh Steinberg in his dispute with a former business partner. U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew denied defendants’ motion for a new trial or reduction of attorneys fees. The legal fracas began in 2001 when David Dunn left Steinberg’s agency to form his own outfit — Athletes First — and took about 50 National Football League clients with him. Steinberg sued, and in November a jury found Dunn had violated his employment agreement and awarded $44.6 million against Dunn and Athletes First. In January, Lew denied Steinberg’s attempt to add $23.5 million in lost revenue to the jury award. Steinberg’s attorney, Brobeck partner Franklin Brockway Gowdy, said Lew denied Brobeck’s request for “unjust enrichment” damages. But, according to Gowdy, Lew said that “if the jury had not awarded as much as it had, he would have made up the difference” in an enrichment ruling. Dunn’s attorney, Lee Hutton of Cleveland-based Duvin, Cahn & Hutton, referred calls about the ruling to Mark Humenik, general counsel of Athletes First. Humenik could not be reached for comment. Last month, Hutton said Steinberg’s intent was to put Dunn out of business. That may be the outcome of the case. Gowdy said he had heard “information to suggest the National Football League Association will suspend Dunn from representing NFL players for at least two years.” “It’s reasonable to assume that if he can’t represent players” and has a $44 million judgment against him plus attorneys fees, Gowdy said, “his options going forward are kind of dim.” Gowdy is among about 60 partners that are joining Philadelphia-based Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The firm unanimously voted Monday to hire the Brobeck team. Other Brobeck partners are also finding new homes. On Monday, Shane Byrne, a partner in the firm’s San Francisco business and technology group, joined Baker & McKenzie.

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